Since childhood, I’ve been fascinated with breasts for various reasons. My mother passed away from breast cancer. Yet, I remember prosthetic breasts lying atop her bathroom counters and watching her get dressed in the mornings. An unbreakable woman, she loved her natural breasts despite cancer’s misfortunes and remained confident in her body image even after the mastectomy. As a proud A-cup, I attribute my confidence to my mother and her openness about my body as a future woman. Since I was two years old, she taught me the names of all my body parts, breasts and vagina included. She believed that knowledge was power and open conversations on women’s bodies were essential. Her actions led me to love my body, regardless of anyone else’s opinion. There’s no greater gift than empowerment, particularly amongst women.

As the proud owner of caramel colored buds and daughter of a cancer fighter, I obviously have a deep appreciation for women’s breasts. Biologically, the two mounds upon our chests have defined our gender for centuries. Yet, culturally, they’ve grown to symbolize everything from sex appeal to new motherhood. While the media raves, “the larger the better,” I love my breasts and touch them everyday for a bit of narcissism.

From triple D to beautiful B-cups, I asked five women to share their breast stories. Some hilarious and others poignant, these women’s journeys are inspiring and an example of the conversations that should constantly live amongst women. In the words of a good friend, “We are the stories that we tell ourselves.” If nothing else, let these stories spark a laugh or a memory about your personal journey to loving your breasts. Even if it’s an ongoing struggle, be inspired.

“My love for my beautiful darling 34B cups wasn’t always so. In junior high school, a time when girls were blossoming, I was blatantly flat! Oh my nipples were there, but the ’round mounds’ were not. I watched the little boys constantly react to those girls and I thought, ‘there’s no tooth fairy but if there’s a breast fairy she sure needs to get her ass here and wave a wand over my bird chest.’ Like loose change purses on my chest, I’d stuff my bra with toilet paper that would inevitably peek or fall out at very inappropriate moments like playing dodge ball. Or when I finally got that cute boy to fondle me in the school staircase and he grabbed at my ‘perfect’ missile mounds only to discover that I duped him. EMBARRASSING to say the least. Fast forward to 2011, I love my breasts and body for me, first and foremost. They are healthy, and I really do like the size. My back doesn’t hurt, I can go bra-less, and they’re always perked present and accounted for.” ~ Aura Dynamo

“I’ve always had ‘Baywatch’ breasts in a not so beach body. As my weight ballooned so did my chest size, I started disliking them when they became a fashion obstacle and a constant conversation piece with men. After a certain size, it becomes very expensive to buy bras and the selection is extremely limited. Now that I am loosing weight they no longer seem to overpower my frame and I don’t feel defined by them anymore. My body perception is changing and I love them more. I see them as integral part of my anatomy and no longer a separate entity apart from me” ~ Lutze

“I do love my breasts because of the shape they give my body. I guess they’re the most visible cue of femininity. At some point, they’ll provide sustenance for my babies. I cherish them because it pains me to know that there are women who lose theirs to cancer. I don’t like the constriction of bras and take for granted that I don’t have to wear one all the time, except those two weeks when I’m ovulating. That’s when I most aware of them, I actually feel the weight of them. My relationship with my breasts started off as a love-confused relationship — why was one bigger than the other, why were my areolas so dark? Why are they so far apart? What’s up with those hairs around my nipple? Thankfully, puberty didn’t scar me. I love ‘Hefty Lefty’ and her smaller twin on the right.” ~ Abigail Ekue

“I grew up feeling very awkward about my boobs. I was self-conscious because breasts poke out from the body and anyone can see them — regardless of the size. So, I wore really baggy clothes to hide them. As I grew older, when I realized men actually really like them, I wanted mine to be bigger. Depending on the day and my weight, my size 34 twins are either a very heavy A or a comfortable B. In any case, my boobs are mine and I love them exactly as they are. Finally!” ~ Twanna Hines

“I am a 40 DDD and am 21 years old. I’ve always had big breasts, relative to my age and size, since I was about 10 years old. My breasts have brought me both positive and negative external reactions from people. Women have policed the way I dress (‘cover those up! That is inappropriate you look unprofessional’) and men have sexualized my body in contexts in which my body parts should have remained irrelevant. This has caused me to have some mixed feelings regarding my breasts. However, as a result of the dirty F word, feminism, I have come to appreciate and purge myself of any gendered and internalized self loathing.” ~ Adwoa Asante

Share your journey, past or ongoing, toward loving your breasts!

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